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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: las vegas

Dummy on noose shocks Vegas drivers

This image provided by KVVU-TV shows a billboard with a mannequin dangling from a hangman's noose near The Strip in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/KVVU, Peter Dawson)

By MICHELLE RINDELS,Associated Press
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Even by Las Vegas standards, it was a shocking billboard: A mannequin dangling on a hangman's noose below a black sign with the ominous words “Dying for Work.”

Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Jeremie Elliott says the 911 calls started coming in as the sun came up early Wednesday, with drivers worried the stiff, black-suited dummy swaying at the end of a rope along Interstate 15 near Bonanza Road was a real person.

“It's a publicity stunt, obviously done in bad taste,” said Elliott, adding that officials were focused on getting it down quickly to avoid distracting drivers during the morning commute.

The graphic display along the interstate was one of at least two unauthorized signs spotted Wednesday morning in the Las Vegas area. Another found on Highland Avenue and Desert Inn Road was white with black lettering that read, “Hope You're Happy Wall St.,” and a similar mannequin hanging off the edge.

A woman who answered the phone at Lamar Advertising Co., which owns one of the billboards, labeled the act vandalism and said the display was being removed. She did not provide her name.

Clear Channel Outdoor, which owns another sign that was affected, said they pulled the display immediately and plan to work with law enforcement to punish whoever is responsible.

“We condemn the destructive behavior against one of our billboards because it is illegal and punishes our advertisers,” Clear Channel Outdoor spokesman Jim Cullinan said in a statement. “This is not an innocent protest, but it is illegal and dangerous behavior that Clear Channel Outdoor and the industry will not accept.”

Although the billboard alarmed drivers, it's unclear whether regulations in the area ban roadside signs with graphic depictions of suicide. A spokesman for the Nevada Department of Transportation said there didn't appear to be state regulations on the matter, and a spokeswoman for Clark County was also not aware of rules against the subject matter.

While nobody has publicly claimed responsibility for the signs, the Occupy Las Vegas group, which is affiliated with the larger Occupy Wall Street movement, posted photos of the displays on its website. Its caption says the Nevada governor's budget has slashed social programs and aid to suicidal adults.

Sebring Frehner, an Occupy supporter who posted the photos, told The Associated Press he didn't know who put the hangmen up, but applauded the message behind it.

“People saying it's in bad taste are living sheltered lives and don't pay attention to what affects the working class,” he said.

Vegas woman accused in OxyContin ring

A Las Vegas woman and her father are accused of helping distribute large amounts of OxyContin that included sales tracked in Eastern Washington.

Tiffany Diane Frehner, 31, and John Lawrence Frehner, 57, are charged in connection with a federal complaint filed in January against Frehner's boyfriend, Robert John Beron.

Beron, owner of a company called Lexxxy Nite Productions, is accused of selling OxyContin to Mitchell Hargan, Marisol Hernandez, Jaime McGahuey and Kim Chavez of Wenatchee.

Beron, who traveled to Washington regularly, told a confidential informant he was still able to get the old OxyContin pills distributed before Purdue Pharma changed the formula to make them harder to abuse, which gave him huge profits, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Spokane.

He also arranged to sell the informant 400 80-mg pills for $6,000, charges allege. Beron told the informant he had a customer in Wenatchee who bought $100,000 worth of OxyContin a month.

Beron was arrested at his home in Salinas, Calif., on Jan. 12.  Police found a 9 mm handgun and 530 methadone pills.

Beron was out of jail awaiting trial and wearing an electronic monitor, but he was arrested on a warrant July 18 in San Jose.

Frehner was arrested July 19 in Las Vegas.

She and her father each face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.

Judge’s son suspected in casino heist

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The bankrupt son of a Las Vegas judge followed a crude holdup at a posh casino by racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in gambling losses and spending a week like a high roller, but got caught after trying to hawk his stolen chips online to poker players, police said Thursday.

 An arrest report for the helmeted bandit, who ran out of the Bellagio hotel-casino with $1.5 million in chips during a gunpoint heist Dec. 14, said Anthony M. Carleo (pictured) lost about $105,000 at the resort over the next month — including $73,000 on New Year's Eve. He stayed at least one week at the resort in late January, enjoying meals, drinks and rooms furnished by the casino.

“He likes to gamble,” Las Vegas police Lt. Ray Steiber said as he described for reporters how Carleo, 29, was nabbed late Wednesday on the same casino floor from where the chips came.

Carleo wasn't armed and offered no resistance when he was taken into custody.

 Police recovered $900,000 in chips of different types — the ones stolen ranged from $100 to $25,000 — and can account for $1.2 million, Steiber said.

Read the rest of the story by Associated Press writer Oskar Garcia by clicking the link below.
  

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